A Tree and A Flashback

I should have given that familiar tree a hug when I had the chance. But I never knew where in our neighborhood it stands. And it was not on my property for me to call my own. Only when I look through my window to gaze and chase the sunset do I ever see its glorious green and its magnificent stature.

Yesterday I had witnessed how they had cut off its crown and branches. Were they pruning or cutting her? I really don’t know. I am still saddened by the thought that it will take years for its leaves to grow back, or maybe she will never recover from those cuts.

I had spent four years chasing the sunset through my window. And she has always been a part of the view, adding color and character to my subject. Through my lens I see her smiling with the sunset’s rays. Through the years I have watched how her leaves changed color and form to follow the season.  She has withstood strong winds and rains when all the others around her have not. I know her long branches have welcomed breeding birds and provided refuge to them that are migrating.

I still feel the notch in my stomach whenever I recall the image of her struggling against the man’s striking and sawing. This disturbing human activity I had seen will remain a puzzle. Will I see the tree grow back its leaves again?  Will she be around when I come home after years overseas? Will I ever find another tree as stately as she while I chase and capture the sunset?

sunset (1)

And then I noticed the young tree beside her.  With the sunset as her last audience and her leaves reaching out to touch the branches of the smaller tree, she whispered her wisdom.  “As small and as frail as you are, stand tall even when storms and strong winds beat you.  The years will prove how strong a tree you will be when you have gained branches to withstand nature’s path of arrogance. I leave behind a shadow for you to follow even when my leaves are not there to behold. Remember my dear, I too was once a sapling like you. “

my new sunset tree_31jan2015
my new sunset tree_31jan2015
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sunset_photos 2015 008


my new sunset tree_31jan2015
my new sunset tree_31jan2015

Alice and the Caterpillar

“In this garden we call Life, not  every caterpillar will tell you which side of the mushroom is better.”- phwriter11

Reading through Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I came to the part where Alice met the Caterpillar, and a little lesson in life came to my mind.  Not that it’s a fable, but I like to connect the story with real life situations.

Alice was so  worried  that she has changed into so many sizes. The Caterpillar reminded her  to keep her temper, and advised Alice that if she takes a bite from the mushroom she will grow taller or shorter.  The Caterpillar didn’t say which side though, so that leaves Alice to decide.

How we accept change makes the difference in our life. Sometimes you are taller than everyone else, sometimes shorter.  Sometimes you  may feel as small as three inches because of these changes, do not fret. Others may be in the same situation and they are not bothered  about it. Others find this size still very acceptable because that’s how they appreciate their being.

And how you handle these changes all depends on which side of the mushroom you will bite from. That is for you to find out, and to decide upon. Take the side which makes you grow taller, then live with it. Or take the side which makes you shorter, then live with it. Keep your temper as you go along. A clear mind works better than a bad temper.

And remember… “In this garden we call Life, not  every caterpillar will tell you which side of the mushroom is better.”

Alice andthe Caterpillar
Alice and the Caterpillar

PhWriter11 Notepad


I just want to write , write ,write ,write.. not for anyone’s satisfaction but more for my own self expression . I have things in my mind that I want to write about, so when I grow old I have something to remind me of how life was like back then. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a short happy note, a sad reflection, an embarrassing situation, or a disturbing event. Some people are not even worth talking to. They would  tell you of their troubles which I don’t want to get myself involved with. I ‘ve had my share of miseries. Of course I can draw a subject matter for my writings from these exchange of thoughts and musings between people. Maybe look at things from a different point of view and consider it as an eye opener for me to count my blessings. Life is full of surprises and every day should be welcomed with a smile no matter how things are. One thing to be grateful is the air we breathe, it may not be as clean but our lungs still get its dose of daily oxygen. The sun and the clouds play together across the vast sky. Though I  know it may soon start to rain again, the thought that little birds are able to fly to gather dried leaves and twigs for their nest is a very comforting when you are on a dry land. – phwriter11 6.10.13 11:03

IS it an excuse to say that my eyes are failing and  I don’t  want to do more damage to them so I have stopped reading and writing? Yes I know, I can always get a new pair of glasses. But to have these glasses on is just so uncomfortable. Or is it more the disappointment of having to wear glasses now that I am aging?


From Writer to Writer

I was organizing my notes and had to make a subcategory on writings. From Writer to Writer  are gathered quotes and inspirations from classic writers. It’s like going back in a time capsule, keeping an image in my mind how the great writers’ minds work. It is very interesting to note how each approaches their work in different styles. Some started their  work while travelling, mingling with society or in solitude, working in a different field or a craft.

Last night I read Henry Miller’s commandments, and I like Commandment #7  :


  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

And from Anne Lamont’s  Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

And on the grit that commits mind to paper, she counsels:

You begin to string words together like beads to tell a story. You are desperate to communicate, to edify or entertain, to preserve moments of grace or joy or transcendence, to make real or imagined events come alive. But you cannot will this to happen. It is a matter of persistence and faith and hard work. So you might as well just go ahead and get started.

‘Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.”

It ‘s either the bird or the simplicity of the thought that caught my attention.

Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

I have left many trails of my poetry in my past. It was a long time ago when PCs, Ipads and blogs were not yet available. It was old school journal-writing with pen and paper, and at times with the luxury of a typewriter too (I remember typing as quietly as I could in the wee hours of the night when everybody’s asleep). They served as my emotional springboards that helped me carry on through hardships. It’s more a depiction of a suppressed writer’s passion domesticated by society’s stereotyping of women. I may not be able to retrieve them now, but that’s okay. I earned my freedom away from the crab mentality-environment others have relentlessly nurtured. No, not I. I am now free to write.

Today I follow my art to be a writer. Life is good and I will write about it.

 Listen, then make up your own mind.” ~ Gay Talese


Today is Wednesday. 12th of June. National Independence Day. I woke up feeling grumpy. I know I should have greeted the day with a smile and a happy heart. It’s our country’s 115th year of independence. But the thought of celebrating is just unacceptable for me at this time.

I see people are still starving because of poverty. I am aware of people striving to get a decent job to support their family. I sympathize with them. I know how it feels to have nothing and yet you have to go out in real life and struggle. Thinking about it, how much does it cost to prepare a simple meal of adobo and rice? A  kilo of rice and meat cost about two hundred pesos. With a meager four hundred pesos minimum wage, barely half of a daily income is left to augment other expenses like transportation, house rent and other basic necessities.  Majority of the people are within this living condition. It is not enough, has never been enough. And that’s only for those who have jobs. What about the others who have none?

Independence as defined is the state of being independent. It is the freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others. Politically and economically,  many are not free. I for one am not free. I have debts to settle, bills to pay, a pantry to fill up, a career to pursue, goals to fulfill, and  independence to attain. I have nothing to my name. And people misjudge a person’s capability if you have nothing. No bank account, no job, no means of livelihood, nothing . And it gets lonely at times too.

But my mind is full of ideas. Unless those ideas see some action, it will remain an idea. So time to activate these brain cells.. phwriter11 06.12.2013

Even if I read all the techy blogs and links to get updates on trends and tools, at the rate technology upgrades and evolves I may not be able to keep up with the race  in this digital age. They  are like talking German to me. I read about iOs, Android, HTML, AudioBoo, Cloud, Siri, and all the rest of the terms they now use in this technology-based world. –phwriter11 6.16.13 02:30



Woke up missing my honey. Listening to Carole King’s So Far Away I write my own lines

By the mirror I see a lonely woman

Misty eyed she seems

Without you by her side

Her heart yearns to be loved

But endless loneliness abounds

Only you can explain

That look she carries

–  phwriter11



“The years will pass insensibly, and when I am an old man I hope that I shall be able to look back on a happy, simple, peaceful life.” -W.S. Maugham,The Fall of Edward Barnard

Edward Barnard made me ponder on my retirement options: either to live on an island or the city. Noise or nature?  phwriter11 6.20.13 20:40


Loving Kindness


One morning I stumbled on a video of Special Head, a monk performing levitation in front of a live audience in a popular talent show lead me exploring and reading more about monks, dhamma and Buddhism. Not that I am considering a change in religion. I seem to like the simple and frugal life of monks. It makes life less complicated.

An introduction excerpt by Venerable Nárada Maháthera’s The Buddha and his Teachings

“ The Buddha-Dhamma is a moral and philosophical system which expounds a unique path of enlightenment, and is not a subject to be studied from a mere academic standpoint.

The doctrine is certainly to be studied, more to be practised, and above all to be realized by oneself. Mere learning is of no avail without actual practise. The learned man who does not practise the Dhamma, the Buddha says, is like a colourful flower without scent.”

And from this viewpoint I study and read to learn more. I realized it may look simple but to attain that level of mindfulness and loving kindness takes a lot of dedication from an individual. And I think that is a universal reality to self improvement. From snippets of readings , I have two phrases to start with Metta Bhavana and Samatha Bhavana. I start with Metta with an excerpt from Loving Kindness Meditation

 The good symbol for Metta (loving-kindness) is the mother cradling her baby to sleep. The baby cradled to sleep will be the result.. Such is loving kindness and its results.

Reading through The Bhikkhus’ Rules , I am slowly enlightened on the simplicity of a monk’s life  with only his robe, bowl and razor. As a writer, I will take my journey through these readings and writings about Buddha like a literary adventure and advance insights about travelling to Sri Lanka, India, and Tibet.

I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. It is the time to help create a happier world. –  H.H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama 

More related readings  from these sites



Grandma Glasses’ Garden

“I am back.”  I called out loud.

“From where? I didn’t notice you were gone,” she answered.  

“Oh well, at least she heard me today,”  I said to myself,  as I stepped  into the kitchen.

Have I finally explored the boundaries of my mind? Not really.

Have I found enough courage to talk about the downside of being a housewife? Not today.

Will it be more fun to talk about being a writer? Sounds like it.

Should I stick with a topic that has been bothering me? Not a good idea. 

I think I should start breathing life to my storybook characters.  And Grandma Glasses  is top on my list today.

“Oh look Grandma! There are butterflies in your garden,” said Eunice.

Grandma Glasses Garden
Grandma Glasses Garden

My Funny Junk s.2013: My Contribution to History


“My Funny Junk s.2013: My Contribution to History” is a literary project in cooperation with Grandma Glasses. It aims to bring awareness in a subtle and light-hearted manner. It’s not satire. And it’s not fiction either. It’s an entertaining and meaningful literary junk by radical writers.

Funny Junk#1

At the plenary hall, everyone is seated except for two senators.

The marshall : “Mr and Mrs Juan Dela Cruz will you please come to order.”

Mr J Dela Cruz : “I will have brewed coffee please.”

Mrs J Dela Cruz : “Latte but no sugar for me two.”

Funny Junk #2

In a geography class,

Girl : Do you know where is the Philippines?
Boy : It’s the country where you should be.
Girl : Where is it? (looks at map)
Boy : Not far from the sea

Funny Junk #3




Funny Junk#4

Subconsciously we dream, and from a colleague’s narration this is my point:

PHL sin tax (*english translation in progress)

Mommy Glo: Eds may yosi ka ba jan?
Edwards : Naku Mommy Glo wala po..may sin tax kasi dito kay San Pedro. (sabay abot na lng ng lighter)

(*trans: “what does it mean?”)

The Baker’s Percentage

I am a writer learning how to bake artisan breads, not as a career but to fill my tummy during breaks. – PhWriter11

Happy New Year to all Readers! A collection of my thoughts to share with you because I’m glad to have you back on my page.

Lately I have been into bread and pastry making. With success, I have revised recipes to come up with my version of the white bread, soda bread, ciabatta, beer bread, cake base, cinnamon rolls, swedish cookies, meringues and basic pie crust. Of course there are also disappointments, frustrations and disasters in my baking adventures. That makes baking more interesting for me.

Hjärnan Bröd 006

swedish chef is in the house

Quick Beer Bread 005 (3)

lava cake 003

cake base 001 021

cake base 001 011 cake base 001 005 McJonsson Wheat bread 007 mcj bread 022 McJonsson Bread (12) bake it or burn it 001 017 bake it or burn it 001 019 Kanebullar 007 Prune BRead (2) McJonsson White BRead (3) jonsson bageri 044 McJonsson's Apple Pie 041 candy's bday cake 005 photos from home jan 2013 001 008 candy's bday cake 008 mcj bread 050 photos from home jan 2013 001 007 Jordgubbstårta 02 032

I like how  the dough rises , how the cake fluffs in a pan, how eggs and butter blend into a nice cream, how powder sugar melts with milk, how yeast bubbles with warm water, how the crust browns inside the oven, how the cinnamon sugar caramelizes, how the chocolate surrenders to my stirring and become ganache, and how the bread comes out golden brown when flipped to cool.

Same way I master the art of making bread, do I get familiar with shelf life of these baked goodies. I’ve had a couple of loaves that turned mildewy after days sitting on the table. I’ve had snickerdoodles still edible coming way past Christmas when all gifts have been opened.

And disasters are always expected when a novice tweaks a recipe. I’ve had burnt caramel in ramekins too when I tried doing it quicker in the microwave. I had a loaf that turned out to be a weapon and graded class 3 as self defense gadget. And a boule that expanded horrendously to become an alien’s brain.

christmas snickerdoodles 044homemade egg pasta 021

Bake it or burn it 064

I found helpful tips and techniques from other bakers’ links too.  I need to keep these in mind every time I handle the dough and perfect making artisan breads. And while checking out alternatives for baking stone, I stumbled on the Baker’s Math. Initially, I thought it is a bit too much going through all those hassles understanding the formula. Then as I read on, I realized the mistakes I made with my disaster loaves. From the formulas I gathered, I was enlightened on the correlation of  flour and water in bread making. Trial and error will always be part of the fun, but at least now I can attempt to chase those bubbles in my freshly baked bread like a professional baker.

With the baker’s percentage put into good use, I will have more things to write about. Seeing all my baked creations makes me feel better. Indeed baking is one of those things you just have to try to learn how to do right with a few mistakes acceptable.

phwriter 023

And I wrap up my writings today with a Phwriter11 quote, “To burp or not to burp, that is for humans”.